Maritimers mark Labour Day across region
Published Monday, September 4, 2017 8:11PM ADT
Everything from parades to barbeques and rallies were held to recognize organized labour across Canada, Monday.
In Frederiction, president of the District’s Labour Council, Ernie Caissie said Labour Day is a special holiday as it celebrates Canadian’s hard working accomplishments.
“It's a bit of giving back to the community, it's Labour Day, so this is all sponsored and all the funds are from organized labour,” he said.
President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, Patrick Colford agrees.
“Today is the day for all workers to celebrate all the gains that we have made,” Colford said.
Colford said the day’s celebrations reflected a positive relationship between unions and the government.
“The relationship is getting far better than it was in the years gone by, it was more adversarial, conflicts all the time,” he said. “We realized that we need to work together to make lives better for all New Brunswickers.”
There was a political presence at events in Frederiction, as the people’s alliance and Green Party served hot dogs at a barbeque.
New Brunswick Green Party leader, David Coon said unions are vital to the health of society and that he’d like to see more unionization in the service sector.
“I'm introducing a bill in the next session of the legislature to make it easier to get the first contract for a newly unionized workplaces,” he said.
Events took place in New Brunswick all weekend. Saturday there was a barbeque held in Moncton and on Sunday there were celebrations organized in Bathurst, Saint John, Miramichi and Fredericton.
In Halifax, the teachers union saw Labour Day as a chance to remind Premier Stephen McNeil that they're still not over their bitter contract dispute.
Nova Scotia teacher’s union representative, Grant Frost said he recognizes that teachers are trying to define a new reality of teaching under the new contract.
“One thing that Stephen McNeil did by imposing this contract on us is that we have to look at our job in a very different way," Grant said. “For the longest time we considered ourselves as working for the children and not working for the province and I think that's changed for teachers."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan McInnis.